From Marianne Hughes
Regarding your editorial, “Growing Pains” in the June 23 issue of this newspaper, your hope and belief that “the companies involved really do care about our community and its residents and will do their best to be good neighbors” is overly idealistic and not based on the actual facts as experienced by the residents of the well drilling areas. Many of us are reaping absolutely no good (either directly or indirectly) from these well drilling operations and are putting up with all the bad-from hazardous road conditions to decreased property values to loss of hay fields for feeding cattle-and the list goes on and on.
If these were temporary, minor inconveniences, there would be no problem. However, this is long term. For many people, it’s going on four years, and we’re promised that it will be 10-15 years! The clean air and water, the peace and quiet that we enjoyed are simply gone. These things are priceless; no amount of money can replace them. And now we have accidents with injuries-and it is only by the grace of God and the prayers of the people that there have not been any before this.
These companies seem to have no regard for the working conditions of the truck drivers and no respect for either the people who live here or the land that we love. This is neither growth nor progress-this is destruction.
There are those who are reaping some benefit-the increased business in town, the mineral rights holders who are obtaining royalties. But it should be remembered that “you can’t take it with you” and your grandchildren will only have photographs and memories of the “almost heaven” that once was Wetzel County.